Grandmother accused of beating toddler to death

Updated:

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A Decatur woman is accused of killing her 3-year-old granddaughter in a brutal beating.

Selena Rivera, 42, made her first court appearance Monday afternoon. According to an arrest warrant, she beat her granddaughter, Nivea Pinckney, with a silver pipe. The alleged incident took place in her Decatur townhome Aug. 21.

The girl's 8-year-old sister told investigators Rivera shoved the toddler into a closet after the beating and when she brought her out, Pinckney was no longer breathing.

An autopsy showed extensive blunt-force trauma from her head to her legs.

The warrant said Pinckney had several scars from past injuries. 

Neighbors were surprised to hear about the allegations.

“She seemed like a sweet lady,” one neighbor told Channel 2’s Amy Napier Viteri.

Rivera will remain jailed until a superior court judge makes a decision regarding her bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next month.

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